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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq Terror Constitution; Baghdad

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 003008

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, NEA/PPD, NEA/PPA, NEA/AGS, INR/IZ,
INR/P

E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO IZ
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAQ TERROR CONSTITUTION; BAGHDAD


1. SUMMARY: The major themes in the daily newspapers on
July 20 were the constitutional committee's preparations
for the referendum and drafting the constitution, and the
latest developments of the security situation. END SUMMARY.

-----------------
TABLE OF CONTENTS
-----------------

A. "Clarity in London and ambiguity in Baghdad" (Al-Bayyan,
7/20)
B. "Wrong message" (Al-Fourat, 7/20)

----------------------
SELECTED COMMENTARIES
----------------------

A. "Clarity in London and ambiguity in Baghdad" (7/20)

Al-Bayyan (affiliated with Islamic Ad-Da'wa Party led by
Ibrahim Al-Jafari) published a third-page editorial by
Salim Rasool about Muslim scholars' attitude toward
terrorist operations in London and Baghdad:

"Muslim scholars from different sects in London have signed
a statement in which they condemned the recent terrorist
operation. The scholars regard the perpetrators of those
attacks as criminals who do not belong in Islam. Most
Muslim's agree that the terrorists have distorted Islam by
conducting such deeds. However, the scholar's public
declaration has a deeper meaning as well. It is an
indication of how the London Muslim community was also a
victim of the London bombings.

Western extremists now accuse every Muslim of being a
terrorist and the London Muslim community is under attack
from these people. It was not the terrorist activities
that convinced the Muslim scholars to issue their statement
but rather the negative consequences to the Muslim
community in England. According to the scholars, these
actions committed in the name of Islam are criminal in
London, but not, it seems, in Baghdad.

Why hasn't the entire Muslim world come out against
terrorist activities in Iraq? Why aren't there any
statements from Muslim scholars condemning the bombings and
the beheadings? The situation in Iraq requires those
scholars to announce their attitude against terrorism and
bloodshed in Iraq. Some senior scholars like the Al-Azhar
Mosque sheikh and the Saudi mufti condemned terrorism in
Iraq. However, since those statements came from individuals
they accomplished nothing.

If all Muslim scholars spoke out in a united voice against
terrorism, terrorists would not be able to recruit any more
Muslims to fight in Iraq. Recently at a conference held in
Amman, none of the many Islamic figures in attendance spoke
the truth about terrorism. None of them condemned the
terrorist spreading death in Iraq.

The Iraqi people wish that all Muslims would unite against
the Iraqi bloodshed. Terrorism operations in Iraq are
committed in the name of resistance however Iraqis are
dying in vain and the terrorist are criminals.

The Iraqi Muslim people want the senior Muslim scholars to
answer one question. Why do they clearly condemn the
London bombings while maintaining an ambiguous attitude
concerning terrorism in Iraq?"

B. "Wrong message" (7/20)

Al-Fourat (independent, anti coalition) published a second-
page editorial by Majed Fadhel Al-Zuboon about the
constitution:

"We hear many opinions these days about the Iraqi
constitution from Iraqi politicians and the general
population in Iraq. We hear that it is supposed to be
ratified by the Iraqi people through a referendum. We hear
that there are many different groups trying to work
together and that there are many different opinions as to
what the document it should look like.

The Iraqi people seem to be resolved to actively
participate in the constitutional process despite the
difficulties involved. Their participation is important
because the constitution will be the blueprint for the
future of Iraq. It will determine both the national and
foreign policies of Iraq for a long while to come. Indeed,
this process requires local media outlets to educate the
people about how to make the constitutional process a
success.

By focusing on sectarianism and power sharing, I think that
the former Governing Council, which was directly supervised
by civil administrator Paul Bremer, gave Iraqis the wrong
message. The experiment of the Governing Council has
created sectarianism and sectarianism will lead to a
separated Iraq. The right to establishing federal
territories in Iraq can only be ratified by the Iraqi
people. I think that the world will soon learn that the
Iraqis do not want their country to be split up into
sections. They want a united Iraq. Regarding the national
assembly, we believe that that each province must have its
own representation. The government must not be organized
according to electoral lists. This process will move us
away from sectarianism and ethic power sharing. The seeds
of these evils were planted by Bremer and has led to our
current situation of suffering and pain."

SATTERFIELD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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